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April 2016 Highlights



REGISTER TODAY! July 11-12, 2016-RESNA Catalyst Project’s State Assistive Technology and Alternative Finance Programs Annual Conference — Promoting and Protecting Access to Assistive Technology 
Register at
Please join the RESNA Catalyst Project for this year’s Annual Conference for State Assistive Technology and Alternative Finance Programs on July 11-12, 2016 in Arlington, VA. This year’s conference will be conducted along with the RESNA/NCART 2016 Conference scheduled July 10-14, 2016 (for specific details about the RESNA/NCART Conference, visit: This year’s Annual Conference for State Assistive Technology and Alternative Finance Programs will be sharing the “Promoting and Protecting Access to Assistive Technology” theme of the RESNA/NCART Conference, and will be offering sessions and expert speakers in the following areas:

  • AT and Accommodations in Post-Secondary Settings
  • Accessible Social Media
  • AT & Employment: Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology
  • AT Financing and ABLE Accounts
  • AT and Aging in Place

In addition to an exciting agenda being developed on best practices in promoting access to assistive technology, participants who attend the Annual Conference for State Assistive Technology and Alternative Finance Programs will be able to take advantage of RESNA’s exhibit hall with over 40 interactive Assistive Technology exhibits, as well as networking events, and being close to the nation’s capital to engage policymakers on assistive technology issues. Conference registration is free, but you must register at We look forward to seeing you this July!

Alternative Financing Program Funding Opportunity Announcement
ACL has released this year’s competition for loan programs! Much as has been the case in recent years, this is a competitive grant designed to support the AFP activities across all AT Act entities. There are 3 anticipated awards for approximately $700,000 each. For more information please see the funding announcement at: On April 13, an informational webinar was conducted on this AFP funding opportunity by Rob Groenendaal of ACL, and an archive is available on

AT Program News Call for Content
The next edition of AT Program News (ATPN) will provide updates on various AT policy issues. Of particular interest is access to rehabilitative and habilitative devices and services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Please contact Eliza Anderson, Editor in Chief for ATPN, at if you have information about rehabilitation and habilitation devices and services in your state.

RESNA Catalyst Project and ATIA-Take Advantage of Free ATIA Webinars in 2016!
ATIA and the RESNA Catalyst Project offers live and archived webinars to all AT Act Entities. With RESNA Catalyst Project support, ALL AT Act Entities receive complimentary UNLIMITED access to ATIA webinars! Use access code CATUNL16. To learn more and sign up for all ATIA live and archived webinars, visit:

Recent Events

RESNA Catalyst Project Conducts Teleconference for the National Council on Independent Living
On April 27, RESNA Catalyst Project Staff conducted a teleconference for the staff and members of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). The purpose of the teleconference was to explain what the RESNA Catalyst Project does and to promote the State Grantees for Assistive Technology as well as the Alternative Financing Programs. Catalyst received excellent comments on the teleconference presentation, and a second presentation is being developed to highlight how some SGATs partner with their state’s Centers for Independent Living.



Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative’s Lunchtime Learning on Assistive Technology
The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI) will be conducting a lunchtime learning event entitled Assistive Technology: Free and Within Reach, scheduled May 3, 2016. DATI, Delaware’s Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital, and a DATI customer, will demonstrate assistive technology devices and discuss how to borrow AT from one of three resource centers in Delaware. This event is free. To learn more or register for this event, visit

RESNA Catalyst Project to Support the Maryland Department of Disabilities Technology Assistance Program’s Social Media Webinar
On June 9, 2016, Lori Markland, Director of Communications with the Maryland Department of Disabilities Technology Assistance Program (MDTAP), will present a webinar entitled Accessible Social Media for All, to Maryland state agencies, University system of Maryland employees, and state service providers. The webinar is designed for participants to understand the “whys,” “hows,” and “what we are waiting on” in the world of making social media usable and accessible for all. MDTAP will use the RESNA Catalyst Project’s webinar platform and captioning service to conduct this webinar. If your SGAT would like to develop a webinar, please contact Paul Galonsky at to learn more about how the RESNA Catalyst Project can host your webinar needs.

Upcoming Events

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group- May 4, 2016, 2p.m. EST
The upcoming Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group is scheduled for May 4, and will feature Audiologist, Dr. Juliette Sterkens, who will present a webinar on hearing loops, why hearing loops are helpful, the “Let’s Loop America” movement, and how to foster hearing loop installations. Look for details on how to register for this webinar soon. The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Work Group is designed to share in, and address, technical issues and solutions current to technologies for individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. In addition, a LinkedIn page is available to share information and resources. To participate in this LinkedIn Group, visit



Do You Know of Cases in Which Medicaid Has Funded a Power Wheelchair for a Child Age 5 or Younger?
Neighborhood Legal Services has a special interest in this issue in light of our work over the years and some current writing projects. Also, in an upcoming training at the NDRN conference (see below), we will use a fact pattern involving a 3 year old seeking a Medicaid-funded power wheelchair (based on a successful case). If you are aware of cases in which Medicaid has funded a power wheelchair for a very young child please send summaries and any hearing/appeals decisions to Jim Sheldon ( In the meantime, here is a good resource on this issue: Power Wheelchairs and Accessories for Young Children: Justifying Medicaid Funding for Kids as Young as 18 Months, newsletter available at

REGISTER TODAY! June 13-16, 2016 for the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) Annual Meeting and Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Registration information, including links for both registration and hotel reservations (Baltimore Marriott Waterfront) are available at
  • Our National AT Advocacy Project will have a significant presence at the conference, presenting/co-presenting at a full-day institute and four 90-minute sessions.
  • Our confirmed lineup of AT-related sessions for the NDRN conference, with tentative times, and confirmed speakers:
    • Monday, June 13, 2016 (a full-day “Due Process Institute” institute) – will focus on administrative hearing preparation on a hypothetical AT case through Medicaid, special education and vocational rehabilitation, with some break out activities for each of 3 funding sources. Speakers: Marge Gustas, Staff Paralegal and James R. Sheldon, Supervising Attorney, National AT Advocacy Project, Buffalo, NY; Jennifer Giesen, Esq., Minnesota Disability Law Center; Ron Hager, Esq., NDRN.
    • Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 8:30 to 10:00 – “Expanding your PAAT Practice” – will focus on definitions of AT devices and services, available AT funding sources, and provide examples of AT cases in range of areas to illustrate how PAAT programs can go beyond what they are currently doing. Speakers: Jim Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project & Ron Hager, NDRN.
    • Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 1:30 to 3:00 - “AT Simulated Interview and Office Case Review” – will model a client interview and in-office case review meeting. This interactive session will identify how case is identified as PAAT case and best practices for these activities. Speakers: Marge Gustas & James R. Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project; Jennifer Giesen, Minnesota Disability Law Center.
    • Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 8:30 to 10:00 - “AT & Letters of Medical Justification.” - This interactive session will use a case scenario seeking Medicaid funding and a “flawed” letter of justification. Presenters will lead audience discussion to identify key parts of a good letter and how the sample letter is flawed. Audience will work in small groups to redraft the letter and then some will present to entire group. Speakers: Marge Gustas & James R. Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project; Jennifer Giesen, Minnesota Disability Law Center.
    • Thursday, June 16, 2016, 8:30 – 10:00 - “Using Non-IDEA Funds to Meet AT Needs of Kids” – Children with disabilities can get some, but not all AT needs met through special education funding. This session will discuss a range of potential AT funding sources, including Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, private insurance plans, vocational rehabilitation agencies, IRS sanctioned flexible spending accounts, ADA/section 504 enforcement, and even SSI work incentives. Speakers: Marge Gustas & James R. Sheldon, National AT Advocacy Project.


Recent Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call–April 19, 2016
The RESNA Catalyst Project hosted an all Loan Program Directors Forum on April 19, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern. This call focuses on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, and everyone benefits from the active participation programs bring to the discussion. These calls are held monthly.

New AFP Grantee Call–April 21, 2016
The monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees was held April 21, 2016, 4:00 p.m. Eastern. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP Grantees.

Upcoming Events

Loan Directors Open Forum Call–May 17, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern
The RESNA Catalyst Project will host an all Loan Program Directors Forum on May 17, 2016, 3-4:00p.m. Eastern. This call focuses on issues of concern and interest for all loan programs, and everyone benefits from the active participation programs bring to the discussion. These calls are held monthly. Please join the call by dialing in at 1-800-211-4163, with pass code 57 48 484#.

New Grantee Call – May 19, 2016, 4-5:00p.m. Eastern
The next monthly call bringing together the new AFP Grantees will be held May 19, 2016, 4:00 p.m. Eastern. These calls are for those programs receiving funding under the recent competitions to discuss unique opportunities and challenges presented to new AFP Grantees.

Final Webinar in Becoming a CDFI – Date TBD
Thanks to the feedback and suggestions of the participants in the last two webinars, the Catalyst Project will again host Lisa Wagner on a third and final session on how to best pursue CDFI funding. Stay tuned for more information.


ATIA 2017 Call for Presentations
ATIA’s call for presentations for their 2017 conference is open for a period of two months from April 18 - June 17, 2016. ATIA is looking for dynamic, innovative speakers who teach proven practices and cutting-edge technology for children and adults with disabilities. To learn more or to submit a session proposal, visit

ALS Assistive Technology Challenge
The ALS Assistive Technology Challenge is a program focused on accelerating the development of communication technologies for ALS patients with development funds of over $500,000. The Assistive Technology Challenge is designed to provide funds for the research and development of novel communication systems that incorporate ease of use and adaptability to the changing needs of ALS patients, and demonstrate a likely path to scale-up for widespread use. To learn more, visit:

Stanford's Center on Longevity Design Challenge
The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services, which optimize long life for us all. This year's challenge consists of three categories: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security. Each of these tracks will have its own
expert judges, award up to $17,000 in total cash prizes, and offer sponsored travel to Stanford, where finalists will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders. Read more at:

New Accessible Technology Section Added to
The Department of Justice has launched a new Accessible Technology section for, its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Web site, to further assist covered entities and people with disabilities to understand how the ADA applies to certain technologies, such as Web sites, electronic book readers, online courses, and point-of-sale devices. Covered entities have longstanding obligations to make their programs, goods, services, and activities accessible—including those they provide online or via other technology. The new Web pages compile in one place the Department’s technical assistance and guidance about accessible technology, as well as information about the Department’s accessible technology enforcement efforts, regulation development, and other federal accessible technology resources and initiatives.

Claims for Compensation between DOJ and Greyhound May Now Be Filed
A claims process is now available to compensate people who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. The claims process is part of a consent decree that resolves nationwide Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination claims brought by the Justice Department. Greyhound Lines, Inc. has hired a Claims Administrator to distribute an uncapped amount of compensation to people who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. Individuals eligible for compensation must:

  • have a disability;
  • have traveled or attempted to travel on Greyhound between February 8, 2013, and February 8, 2016;
  • experienced a disability-related incident during the travel or attempted travel (for example, lack of accessible transportation or transportation-related services, Greyhound’s failure to make disability-related accommodations, etc.); and
  • submit a Claim Form by mail, email, or online, to the Claims Administrator by no later than November 10, 2016. 

Instructions regarding the claims process are available at the Claims Administrator’s website. The Claims Administrator can also be reached by email, by telephone, toll-free at 844-502-5953 or 800-659-2656 (TTY), or by mail at U.S. v. Greyhound Claims Administrator, c/o Class Action Administration LLC, PO Box 6878, Broomfield, CO 80021. Assistance is available from the Claims Administrator for those who are unable to complete the Claim Form due to a disability. 

AT Radio & Podcasts in Indiana
INDATA has launched an internet radio station. broadcasts 24/7 and includes a wide variety of AT programs. Programs include INDATA’s two podcasts as well as various AT training sessions. To view and listen to the growing list of episodes, visit: INDATA will include audio content from other AT projects. To submit radio content or to learn more about INDATA's AT radio and podcasts contact Wade Wingler at

Follow the RESNA Catalyst Project on Twitter today! @ResnaCatalyst
The RESNA Catalyst Project now has a Twitter feed on the homepage at  Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read "tweets", which are text messages limited to 140 characters.

Follow what is happening with the RESNA Catalyst’s Online Calendar
The RESNA Catalyst Project’s event calendar is on the homepage at  This interactive calendar allows individuals to access information on upcoming events as well as visit recent ones. Most events reported in these Highlights Newsletters will now be a simple click away to download, register, and share!

Product Disclaimer

AT product information contained above is distributed by the RESNA Catalyst Project for informational purposes only.  Endorsement or recommendation is neither intended nor implied, and the RESNA Catalyst Project, RESNA, RESNA employees, collaborators, and partners take no responsibility for individual decisions, and shall bear no liability for any loss or damages resulting from the use of this information.

The RESNA Catalyst Project provides technical assistance to Statewide Assistive Technology Programs, Alternative Financing Programs & Access to Telework Programs, and Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology Programs. RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions.

This newsletter is produced by the RESNA Catalyst Project under a grant funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACL/HHS) through the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended.  The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of RSA/ED or RESNA and no official endorsement of the materials should be inferred.

Contact Information:  RESNA Catalyst Project, 1700 North Moore Street, Suite 1540, Arlington, VA  22209-1903; (703) 524-6686 (voice), (866) 342-6572 (voice), (703) 524-6630 (FAX), (703) 524-6639 (TTY).  Email:; Website: